As our lives become more enmeshed in the digital playground, we reveal more information about ourselves than ever before in the history of mankind. Every online search, store purchase, Facebook post, Tweet or Foursquare check-in is creating a flood of data that, when organized and categorized and analyzed, reveals trends and habits about ourselves and society at large.
In the last two years, humans have created 90% of all information ever created by our species. If our data output used to be a sprinkler, it is now a firehose that's only getting stronger, and it is revealing information about our relationships, health, and undiscovered trends in society that are just beginning to be understood.
In his new book The Human Face of Big Data, author and photographer Rick Smolan and his partner Jennifer Erwitt use pictures, essays and startling facts to put our unprecedented output of information into perspective. Mr. Smolan sat down with us this week to discuss some of what he discovered and his findings are mind-blowing and illuminate the scope of information being put forth by people on a daily basis.
To correspond with the release of the book, which went on sale December 4th, 2012, 10,000 copies were sent to some of world's most influential people including, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett.